Ford has announced that it is investing a half-billion dollars in Rivian, which is rolling out an innovative electric-powered pickup truck. Rivian, which also will market an electric SUV, turned down an investment offer from General Motors, which wanted an exclusive on Rivian’s technology, which is built around a “skateboard” placement for batteries and running gear.
Rivian and Ford are forming a “strategic partnership” with Ford to produce an “all-new” Ford-branded electric vehicle.
“This is on top of Ford’s existing EV plans, the companies said,” according to a report on the tech website Engadget. “Details of the machine weren’t mentioned. Rivian stressed that it would remain an independent company, but acknowledged that Ford’s automotive president Joe Hinrichs was joining its board of directors.”
In February, Amazon invested $700 million in Rivian.
“Rivian, of course, gets another huge injection of cash at a time when its first self-branded vehicles still haven’t reached the road — this helps it fulfill that vision,” writes Jon Fingas on Engadget. “With Ford, meanwhile, it’s a fast track to becoming a truly EV-oriented company. It doesn’t have to design multiple platforms (or heavily modify an existing platform) to create zero-emissions vehicles for a wider audience. What Ford spends now could pay dividends by giving it an advantage over rival automakers, even if it eventually turns Rivian into one of those competitors.”
When Rivian’s pickup comes to market, it will boast unique storage capabilities and what the company says will superior performance – zero to 60 mph in under 3 seconds.